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8 Ways for Stroke Survivors to De-Stress Over the Holidays


We think of the holidays as a time of getting together with loved ones and friends, decorating the house, putting up the tree or decorations, baking and shopping. But for stroke survivors, it can be a stressful time because we still struggle with the side effects and may not be able to accomplish what we could beforehand. I use to be able to multitask, but after my CVA, I’ve had to cut back tremendously because I realized I could only do so much.

As time went on, I realized there are several things I can do to make the holidays more enjoyable, and want to offer these suggestions for other stroke survivors.

1. Set limits for yourself and choose the activities that are most important to you.

2. Realize it’s OK to decline an invitation, especially if you’re very fatigued and need to recharge with a nap.

3. Keep a regular routine to avoid additional stress.

4. Surround yourself with people who care and support you.

5. Cut back on decorating, baking, shopping, writing cards etc. if you can no longer multitask.

6. Look for the positives and focus on your blessings instead of the negatives.

7. Work on your hobbies to keep yourself busy and your spirits up.

8. Make a list of what you want to accomplish, and cross off what you are able to do. Don’t worry about what you couldn’t do.

The holidays can be a very challenging time for stroke survivors, but you need not dread them. Focus on what you are able to do, your accomplishments and your blessings. Having had a stroke shouldn’t take away your joy of the season.

Getty image by Rekeisha Dunlap.